Here’s an existential question: if you don’t think or talk about the Internet of Things (IoT), do you even exist?
With the increasing number of IoT use cases on display at telco events, that could soon be the reality. It’s no surprise to hear that, according to the findings from the Mobile World Live Annual Industry Survey, IoT is the most attractive new business area for businesses in 2017. IoT, together with 5G, NFV/SDN, artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation, was among the most frequently discussed, debated and showcased topics at this year’s Mobile World Congress.
Discussions at MWC17 focused not on IoT theory, but rather the practical development of IoT applications and solutions, along with tangible real-life use cases. IoT solutions are expected to make life easier, healthier and smarter, and help to conserve the scarcest resource in an individual’s life: time. The solutions keep cities cleaner, safer and more secure. Tens of billions of sensors and connected devices will allow the digital economy to impact every aspect of our lives and improve the quality of life.
A number of these use cases were on showcase at MWC17, ranging from health services to IoT-enabled camera drones, location services to smart lighting, fitness to augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), smart factories to connected dogs, and autonomous cars to self-service retail stores, to mention a few. Never before MWC had exhibited so much IoT, with leading Tier-1 operators demoing a range of practical solutions including a theft prevention solution for cars, mopeds and bikes, smart rubbish collection, livestock tracking, remote city lighting control, and remote health monitoring.
The conversation also revolved around the IoT network, including looks at LoRa, Sigfox, NB-IoT, LTE-M and 5G. 5G was heavily discussed throughout MWC17, in particularly in relation to certain IoT use cases like driverless cars, robo-taxis and remote surgical operations that mandate ultra-low ’millisecond’ latency, vast amounts of data, and frictionless, stable and high bandwidth data speeds. For example, Renault-Nissan has set a goal to roll out 10 car models with autonomous driver functionality by 2020. At the same time, LoRa Alliances and Sigfox are both rapidly expanding globally: LoRa, with its 400+ strong member alliance, has 34 publicly announced operators and Sigfox is already available in over 30 countries.
Discussions around advanced sensor technology noted the remarkable size and duration of the batteries that power these devices. IoT-enabled sensors are extremely small, but their batteries can last for up to 10 years, enabling the long-term monitoring of movement, location, temperature, skin moisture, activity, blood pressure, heart beat and many more factors. We also learned about a new material called Graphene – invented in 2004 and later the subject of a Nobel prize in physics – that enables the development of entirely new active sensors that could even be installed inside the human body.
Far away are times when MWC was just a showcase for telecom technology. Other industries presence has become a norm, the IoT is enabling the creation of intelligent and connected systems that will mean the entry of more new players, startups and industries at MWC. Car manufacturers, financial service providers, media companies, medical companies, smart city operators, transportation companies, retailers, industrial companies, agricultural entities and many more are involved or starting to get involved as they try to get their hands on with the latest transformative IoT solution.
At the same time, operators certainly need to talking to those businesses to seek new avenues of revenue growth. By enabling digital services for IoT, telcos can dramatically expand their number of potential customers enjoying digital services. In time, operators will see, meet and cooperate with many more of these use-case driven players in events like MWC.
We’re winding down after an incredibly exciting and energetic few days in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2017. The team here at Comptel has set a goal to out-do itself at every annual MWC by making an even bigger impact than the year before. We definitely feel we accomplished that this year, with so much going on:
Check out how our booth, which doubled as a video game screen, came together:
Thanks to all those who paid a visit to our booth – it was well-visited, meeting rooms were fully-booked and we had a busy few days showcasing our solutions to customers, partners, analysts and media.
As for the full show, #MWC17 also had plenty to offer in terms of insights, announcements and industry excitement. Here are a few takeaways from several top keynotes last week:
John Stankey: Customers are The Ultimate Barometer of Success
In his keynote, AT&T CEO John Stankey said that the voice of today’s telco customer carries more weight than it has in the history of the telco industry. Customers want appreciation, personalisation and simplicity. They want to live their life on their terms and to get more for less. CSPs need to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable to live up to the expectations of today’s customers, said Stankey.
To succeed, telcos must build engaging digital platforms. What matters the most is how many hours your customers spend on your platform and how much of your full range of personalised services and content they enjoy, he added.
Stankey listed what he believes are the main engagement principles for future telco platforms:
Video will be the dominant playing field
Multi-sided business models will remain important
Content that is compelling matters
Integration matters for value and convenience
The product is software
Most importantly, the product is software that captures the customer’s imagination. Vertically integrated products do not have a future any more, said Stankey. Instead, it’s all about software that goes beyond ubiquitous connectivity, contributing to greater customer experience and a stronger emotional bond to content. Software is the product wrapper that reengineers entertainment and glues everything together.
Vivendi on the Future of Mobile Content
With strong positions in music, entertainment and gaming, Vivendi has a unique perspective on the various types of digital content today’s mobile consumer craves. In his keynote, CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine explained that telcos will be able to offer mobile content through partnerships with companies like Vivendi.
The company’s mobile short studio, called Studio+, produces 10 episodes of a series, with each episode at 10-minutes in length, a model that de Puyfontaine said is perfect for bite-size mobile content experiences. His company is now developing telco partnerships to roll out the content, which in turns helps CSPs dip their toes into an innovative digital service channel.
Vivendi tried to purchase its own telco subsidiaries in the early 2000s, he explained, but that failed strategy pointed the company toward a more flexible horizontal convergence model. Strategically, telco partnerships will provide Vivendi and its partners scale and agility, said de Puyfontaine.
Disruption at the Network Edge
Executives from three mobile leaders – Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia – discussed the importance of edge computing to serving the new mobile economy. The panel included Günther Ottendorfer, COO, Technology at Sprint, Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO at Deutsche Telekom and Michael Clever, SVP Mobile Broadband at Nokia.
Edge computing brings network functions physically closer to the consumer to, among other things, dramatically reduce network latency. A number of factors drive this trend, including the growing number of connected devices (from VR/AR to connected cars) that require continuous broadband connectivity, and the emergence of 5G. For example, Sprint is diversifying its core network by deploying thousands of small cells instead of microcell towers, according to Ottendorfer.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom has joined the Telecom Infra Project, a community initiative to re-imagine how telco networks support data-intensive services like video and virtual reality. According to Jacobfeuerborn, video will account for 80 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2021, which means telcos need to work now to bring better connectivity closer to the consumer.
Nokia’s Clever spoke to the benefits of new network technologies – including a shared data layer and a stateless machine architecture – to introduce endless capacity, scale and robustness to the network. Real-time analytics of network data could radically reduce the complexity and costs of the network and help telcos generate new revenue streams by better leveraging network assets and customer data, Clever said.
It’s an exciting time at Comptel! Our team is counting down the days to Mobile World Congress 2017, one of the biggest events of the year.
We have so much to announce and discuss, including the release of our new book, “Nexterday: Volume III,” and the results from our new research report, “The Power of Personal.”
As the third volume in our Nexterday series, the book covers the most important steps you as a telco need to take in your digital customer and service journeys. The research, which includes an official report, eBook, infographic and videos, surveyed real mobile customers to give you a better sense of their expectations for personalisation.
If you’re heading to Barcelona, you can get your hands on a hard copy of the new book and our research report by visiting our booth in Hall 5 at Stand 5G40, or you can email email@example.com to book an individual meeting.
But, those aren’t the only reasons to meet up with Comptel at #MWC17. Here’s a few more:
We’re Hosting a Fireside Briefing with Deutsche Telekom
Telcos hear all about the importance of network innovation, but what does it really look like in practice? Our fireside briefing is the perfect opportunity to find out.
On 28 February at 6 pm, visit the Comptel booth for an in-depth panel discussion about the Deutsche Telekom Pan-Net project, which will cover everything you need to know about DT’s ambitious plan to centralise digital service production for 13 national companies in one location. The panellists include:
Sven Hischke, Managing Director, Deutsche Telekom Pan-Net
Iulian Stoica Petrescu, Pan-Net Enterprise Architect, Telekom Romania
Juhani Hintikka, CEO, Comptel
Antti Koskela, EVP Service Orchestration, Comptel
Martin Beyer, Sales Director, Comptel
I’ll be moderating the discussion, and there will be a brief period for Q&A. The DT Pan-Net story is a really remarkable story of network innovation and disruption, so you won’t want to miss this chat.
We’re Talking Customer Engagement with Salesforce
Right after the Deutsche Telekom panel, I’ll cover off some of the top highlights of our “Power of Personal” research report, which explains how personalisation can be a difference-maker for service creation and revenue generation.
Then, Comptel EVP Intelligent Data Niilo Fredrikson and Salesforce Director of Product Management Communications Mustafa Oyumi will introduce our joint “Best Next Engagement” solution, which will provide a model and method to achieve powerful customer engagement. Don’t miss it.
We’re Hosting a Party at Esferic
Salesforce is also joining us to throw the coolest #MWC17 party in town, on Wednesday 1 March at 7 pm at Esferic. We’ll have live music, an open bar and finger food, plus plenty of networking opportunities. Tickets are free but limited to just 300 spots – be sure to follow Comptel on LinkedIn or stop by our booth to pick up your ticket!
We’re Smashing Telco Myths and Hosting #Nexterday Demos
Sick of hearing the same tired telco myths over and over? We are too, so we’re setting up a Telco MythSmasher in our booth, where you can stop by and destroy the most annoying misconceptions about service transformation and customer experience. You’ll have the chance to compete – the top three myth smashers will get a cool prize for their mobile device.
While you’re at the booth, be sure to ask for a demo of our new solutions, including:
Digital Customer Journey – Personalised digital services, at your fingertips. Check out:
My Digital Moments, which leverages the capabilities of FASTERMIND and MONETIZER
Salesforce customer engagement powered by Comptel FASTERMIND
FWD, the Digital Sales Channel. An easy and contextual way for operators to boost ARPU and increase digital service consumption by selling time-based data access.
Digital Service Journey – OSS modernisation through to full Digital Service Lifecycle Management with the FlowOne suite
IoTed™ – An IoT-driven app that helps users answer the question “Are you well?”
Comptel is planning to make this year’s show our biggest and best Mobile World Congress yet, and we want to join the fun. Find us in Hall 5 at Stand 5G40, or email firstname.lastname@example.org right now to book an individual meeting.